Artist-in-Residence: Dan Borelli

artist in Residence Dan Borelli

About the Artist

Dan is an Artist and Director of Exhibitions at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design where he is also an instructor, leading a course with Dr. Rebecca Uchill entitled “Make Believe”. He holds degrees from Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters in Design Studies with a concentration in Art, Design, and the Public Domain from Harvard GSD. In 2010, as part of his Master studies at the GSD, Dan started an art-based research inquiry into the Nyanza Superfund Site in Ashland Massachusetts, which is his hometown. Nyanza is one of the first 10 sites that launched the EPA’s Superfund program and Dan’s project makes public hidden narratives of cancer clusters, human loss, activism, and ultimately regeneration. With the support of Harvard Innovation Learning Technology, ArtPlace America and NEA Our Town grants, Dan created an exhibit at the public library housing the EPA’s field repository on the site, a streetlighting intervention to illuminate the groundwater contamination below the Town today, and a permanent public space ‘The Ashland Memorial Healing Garden”. Additionally, his project with Emmanuel Pratt ‘We The Publics’ has traveled to the Smart Museum in Chicago, 2017 as part of Emmanuel’s ‘Radical (Re)Constructions’ exhibition, and was a featured artist project at HUBweek Boston 2018. Part of Dan’s practice is public speaking and he was most recently the keynote speaker for the ECHO Leahy Center for the Environment in Spring 2019.


Artist’s Statement:

I am interested in the spatial network of the industrialization of the american landscape via the ruins left behind, specifically Superfund sites. Having grown up within a contaminated community, I know the complicated relationship between contamination/site/archive/health/placemaking and identity shaping. For this artist in residency I will be exploring New Bedford because of the rich symbolism of the street lamps, the whaling industry, and the immense figural presence of Melville's Moby Dick where I will focus on the irrational obsession with the ‘White Whale’as an analogy of living with the contaminated waterfront. I will host open community workshops centered around the cognitive mapping of the Superfund site.

Last updated: April 9, 2019

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Mailing Address:

33 William Street
New Bedford, MA 02740



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